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Friends and Family

Of Feathers and Friends (Clean Adventure)

Written by Darlene Hoggard Davis

This chapter book addresses many issues confronting today’s families. Tyler has been sent to live with his Grandmother until his newly separated parents can work things out. He feels trapped and unloved because he has been torn away from his life and friends in the city. Tyler decides to run away. He finds a tree-house that belongs to Cody and Jenna. These siblings have their own problems, a mean babysitter who mistreats them and parents who are seldom home. When Cody and Jenna decide to help Tyler, he distrusts them. The only friend he has is an injured sparrow. After several mishaps, Cody and Jenna move Tyler to an old shed, where Jenna, a local foster child tries to help him when he is injured. The story progresses with many twists and turns. In the end, children and adults learn how to believe and trust in one another.

This story is targeted for grades K to 6. I believe it is best suited for children in the eight to twelve age group, who will appreciate and understand all the issues in the storyline. There is a Christian focus, but the book is not preachy. This book would make an excellent read-aloud book for discussion on many social issues.

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Barbara Ann Mojica

LittleMissHistory.com

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Cuddly Puppy Care

The Puppy Place # 1 Where Every Puppy Finds a Home

Written by Ellen Miles

This is my first time reading a book in this series. I enjoyed reading this chapter book that is perfect for beginning readers who love dogs. Lizzie and Charles are two siblings who really want a dog, but their mom favors cats and feels that their family is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a dog. One day, their father, who is a volunteer fireman, rescues a golden retriever puppy from a fire. The children plead with their parents to keep the pup. When their two-year-old brother falls in love with “Goldie,” and follows her everywhere, mom reluctantly agrees to adopt the dog temporarily as a foster pup. Lizzie researchers how to train puppies and Charles helps out with socialization training. Mom insists that they advertise in the community for a permanent placement, and the children reluctantly agree. They come up with a plan to keep the pup nearby. In the end, the family is surprised at how this golden retriever has transformed them.

This chapter book is charming; it tells the story from the viewpoint of the children as well as in the first person from the viewpoint of a puppy. In the process, children learn responsibility and the proper way to care for a puppy. Recommended especially for readers ages seven through ten, but the tale can be enjoyed by all ages.

A Christmas Holiday Gift of Self Worth

Snow Pup: Holiday Heartwarmers (Book2)

Written by Mimi Barbour

snowpuppic

A Perfect Read for the Holiday Season.

This is the second book in Barbour’s holiday series. Well-written plot with realistic characters that has no real connection to the Christmas holiday other than the setting. Deputy Shawna Mallory is a thirty-one year old single cop who lives in the rather sleepy town of Carlton Grove. She has a deep commitment to her job, and moves quickly when she hears an amber alert on the radio for a missing eleven year old boy. Mallory hears a dog barking; she finds the boy under a snow drift being guarded by the pup. The sheriff agrees to take the boy in while he awaits a new foster care family.

Complications arise when the boy’s real father arrives back on the scene from an overseas assignment in Chile. John Reid McCrae appears to have a poor parenting track record, but Shawna’s friend Alice knew him many years ago and offers a different opinion. In the meantime Shawna grows attached to Billy, who is about to be given to a new foster family. Billy runs away once again, but even more puzzling is the strange affect Billy’s dad has upon Shawna. What outcome ensues for Billy, John, and the Deputy Sheriff whose lives have become entangled.

A heartwarming story revolving around coming of age, domestic violence, foster care, romance, pets and peer relationships that will tear at the heart strings of young adult and adult readers. Actually, the book could be a middle grade read if one is willing to look past a few curse words and one or two light romantic scenes. Snow Pup is the kind of story that will put the reader in the mood for the holiday season.

Barbara Ann Mojica
LittleMissHistory.com

Home – Makes a Statement

Home

Written by Brenda Kearns

Home,pic

This novella explores the drawbacks of the foster care system and the emotions of children who are its victims. The author has had first hand experience with the system and presents her story from the point of view of fourteen year old Allie. She and her younger twin siblings, Luke and Madeleine have been ripped away from their mother many times. This time they find themselves on a farm.

Allie is determined to get them back to their urban home. She uses her experience to try to manipulate the system and the social worker. When she finds herself in the care of Jo-Jo and a few other foster children, Allie is flummoxed. While she is determined to get back home as fast as she can, this family’s approach of both tough love and common sense has her baffled. It seems that Allie’s mother is determined to sabotage her efforts because every time she has a chance to show herself a good mother, she proves just the opposite. Finally the day arrives when they have an unsupervised overnight visit with their mother; the children find themselves in trouble again. How will Allie decide to handle it this time?

This book is both an examination of foster care and a coming of age story. Kearns knows how to develop her characters and pull the heart strings of her readers. At the same time, the touches of humor like Allie falling into cow dung and getting kicked when pretending to understand how to milk a cow take the edge off an otherwise too serious topic. I recommend the book for children ages ten and up. They will find many topics with which to identify as well as being given an opportunity to explore aspects of serious family issues.

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